Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New York Day 3

Taking a break from flood talk to finish up our New York trip. 

Sunday morning we were up bright & early for Mass at St. Patrick's. That Church is gorgeous. I kept thinking how cool it would be to get married there. We had to walk through a little security area & they checked my bag. It's so sad to me that we live in a world where you can't go to Church without dealing with security because there are so many sick people.

Rockefeller Center

After Mass we went to Central Park.

We walked down 5th Avenue to the park. 

In the park there's this cute lake & you can rent remote control sailboats.

We stopped & watched a men's softball game & it was exactly like something you'd see on TV. They were yelling at the umpire & yelling at each other & their accents just crack me up. Not in a bad way.

One thing that I was adamant about doing was having a meal at Tavern on the Green. We went for lunch.

It was really pretty. We had Caesar salad. Mine with prosciutto & Dean had chicken. 

They were very good but small. Dean was not impressed with the $67 bill. Seriously, for 2 salads. We both drank water. 

However, it was worth every penny to me because sitting at the table next to us was Jesse Tyler Ferguson - aka Mitchell from Modern Family.

That's the table he was at. He was with his husband & some other people. Dean spotted him. He could clearly see him from his seat & wouldn't trade places with me. I walked right by him & never saw him. Since Dean wouldn't trade places with me I went to the bathroom so I could get a better look at him. He looks exactly the same as he does on TV. 

One of the highlights of our trip was the Louis Vuitton store. Such a fun experience. When our sales guy found out it was our first trip to NYC he said we needed champagne & then when he found out that it was my first Louis bag then he said we definitely needed champagne.

Doesn't Dean look thrilled?

The coasters even had the monogram!

I went with the iconic Speedy bag!

After Louis we found ourselves in front of Trump Towers so we went in to check it out. 

We had drinks at the bar. 

We went to The Plaza & had gelato. 

We went to the half price ticket booth & there were tickets available for The Rockettes. 

We were on the 2nd row!

The show was really good. Now I want to go back & see the Christmas show.

After the show we went back to Hell's Kitchen & ate Italian again.  So, so good.

The bread!

I had veal parmigiana. It was delicious. 

Our waiter was also the owner & he was very entertaining. Well, when you could understand what he was saying. He had an extremely thick accent. Every time he left our table I looked at Dean & asked what he said. 

As it turns out he's on the bottle of wine that's on the table. 

He's an Elvis impersonator. Yes, that says Isaac Elvis. That's his name. LOL! He sang for us & then gifted us the bottle of wine to take home. 


Fabulous!! Also, the BEST dessert wine we've ever had. His mom makes it. We think he said it ages for 30 days. 

The next morning it was time for us to go home. For the first time in a long time I wasn't ready to go home. There was still so much to see!! 


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Still Trucking Along

Things are bad in Louisiana. Mainly the area in the immediate vicinity of Baton Rouge. I didn't work a full day at all last week. I went to work, we got done what had to be done & we left to go help. Everyone knows someone that was affected by the flood. I did a lot of packing, a lot of sweeping, a lot of wading through gunk. In case you didn't know, flood waters leave a LOT of muddy gunk. 

We were in Central Saturday & Denham Springs Sunday. I just thought it was bad in the area of Baton Rouge I'd been working in. Devastation doesn't begin to cover it. There are just mounds of debris piled along the street. It's the most depressing thing I've ever seen. People say it's just stuff & that's true but at the same time that stuff are things that people have worked their entire lives for & now they have to start over. 

People still need supplies & food. A friend was denied emergency food stamps because her income is too high, yet her house is gutted & has to be rebuilt. How is that ok? Everyone is doing what they can to help but it's just sooo many people that need help.

There have been comments made about why people live in Louisiana when these things can happen. I can't even deal with that stupidity. Why do people live in California where there are earthquakes & why do people live where there are tornadoes? It's just a stupid statement. Another popular misconception is that we're below sea level. Baton Rouge & the other areas that are flooded are not below sea level. 

We've learned through this that there are a LOT of really good people out there but there are a lot of really crappy ones too. I'm trying to focus on the good. 

If you're able & want to help, this is a GoFundMe that is doing a lot of good for people. It's helping the entire community & not just one family. 

 Some people are ordering from Amazon & having things shipped directly to Louisiana for distribution. If you prefer to go that route & donate items that are needed email me at tracib1004@gmail.com & I'll give you my address for shipping & I will see that it's distributed to people in need.  

Please continue to pray.


Monday, August 15, 2016

Pray for Louisiana

My heart is broken. Parts of Baton Rouge & the surrounding areas are inundated with water. Think Hurricane Katrina but without levees or a hurricane - absolutely zero time to prepare. Tons & tons & tons of rain. My parents had 28 inches in 2 days. 

Area's that haven't flooded in 50 years are completely destroyed. Rivers are rising & overflowing the banks. Complete devastation. It's surreal.

Dean & I are fine, our house is fine. My parents and brother & sister in law live in the heart of the devastation. They got out Saturday & were able to make it safely to my house. They were lucky. Their houses are ok which is amazing. So many people surrounding them are not ok. 

We have so many friends that have lost everything. 

We've done nothing but watch the local news since Friday morning & we woke up to storms & school closures. I couldn't get to work. I've spent an inordinate amount of time on Facebook. I don't ever want to hear one bad thing about Facebook again. Yesterday, when we woke up there was zero cell service if you were an AT&T customer. Major towers were down. If you had Wifi, Facebook & iMessage were the only way to communicate. So many people don't know where family members are & many found people because of FB & everyone sharing posts. Last we heard on Saturday my uncle was fine in his 2nd floor apartment but he didn't have power & only a cell phone. No power means no charging the phone. We don't know if he's still there or was rescued by boat. Boat is the only way to get to many of these people.

As I type this I'm watching helicopters fly by. There were boat rescues, helicopter rescues, hospital evacuations, people waiting to be rescued on their roof. 

Schools are under water. Hospitals are being evacuated. Shelters are full while other shelters are taking in water & are having to evacuate. It's an absolute NIGHTMARE & there's no end in sight. There's a chance of more rain & a river still hasn't crested. More people are being evacuated.

The local newspeople have dubbed it "The Great Flood of 2016"

In the words of my 7 year old nephew "This ISN'T great". 

Monday, August 8, 2016

New York Day 2

First on the agenda for Saturday was the Brooklyn Bridge.  It was crowded & hot. By far the best deal in NYC is the guy on the bridge with his ice chest full of Costco bottled water selling it for $1.00/bottle. 

We didn't go into Brooklyn. We saved that for the next trip. 

St. Paul's - this Church is right across the street from where the Twin Towers stood & there was no damage. Not a pane of glass or a damaged headstone in the cemetery on the property. 

Like just about everything else in NY, it's under construction. 

I hit up Starbuck's while Dean stood in line at Half Price Tickets. Our tour guide recommended Something Rotten so that's what we got.

We walked around in that area for a little while. The South Street Seaport was cute. There were some shops & places to eat.

And ships!

We walked by the Library

This is Fortitude the Lion

We hung out in Bryant Park for a bit. It was nice & shady! 

Then we went to Times Square. 

Those TV screens are HUGE & perfectly clear. There were so many sights to see here. Including the Naked Cowgrandma. Y'all it was bad. Topless, bikini bottom, guitar, lots of makeup, long hair & approximately 85 years old.

Times Square was by far my least favorite part of New York. There are people dressed up like Elmo and the Statue of Liberty and people are taking pics with them but they want you to pay. It's so strange to me. 

We learned on the tour that the ball for New Years Eve stays up year round. 

That's it. It was much smaller than I was expecting. 

We ate an early dinner before the show. We went to Hell's Kitchen to a place called Nizza.

The spaghetti & meatballs were really, really good. We had some time to kill before the show so we walked around a little by the St. James Theater where Something Rotten was. We found a little bar called Smith's Bar. When I saw the menu I knew what I had to get!

Gin & Juice for me! 

It was delish! It we wouldn't have had a show to go to I could've stayed here a long time. Aside from the delicious drink, music was fabulous!! It was like going back in time to my teen's & 20's. I was actually drinking gin & juice while Snoop was playing. If any of you watch 2 Broke Girls then you're familiar with Max. I swear the bartender was her. She was annoyed by the foreign tourist that was asking dumb questions, she had dark hair like her, rolled her eyes, she was great!

Sadly, we had to leave. Keep in mind I was not at all excited about this show. My vote had been for the Jesse Tyler Ferguson comedy show (you know Mitchell from Modern Family?) but since Dean was such a trooper on this trip I went with what he wanted to see.

 The description of the show was a complete turn off for me. 1590's is when it took place, something about Shakespeare. Just really not my thing. Well, this is one of those times when it pays to be open minded. This show was so good! It was really funny! I highly recommend it.

After the show we went back to Times Square just so I could see what it's like at night. 

Very lit up & even more people!

Finally, I was getting my New York pizza. There was a little place down the street from our hotel called 2 Brothers Pizza. This was up there with the $1.00 water on the Bridge. 2 big pieces of pizza & a drink for $5.00! Now, I love Dr Pepper we all know but I don't drink them very often. Something about vacation always has me wanting them. I discovered that Boston & NY are not Dr Pepper cities. Well, not only did 2 Brothers have this fabulous deal but I almost passed out when I saw cans of Dr Pepper! Normally, I would not be excited by a can BUT we were taking our food back to the hotel & we had a kitchenette with a refrigerator with ice & glasses! Trip made! HAHA!

Still more to come!


Thursday, August 4, 2016

New York Day 1

We arrived in New York around 11:00 Thursday night.

We came in at Penn Station so we could check that off the to do list. 

We had to be up bright & early Friday morning for our 9 hour tour. 

This was the meet up spot for the tour. Our hotel was off Times square & Broadway.  

St. Patrick's is THE most beautiful Church I've ever seen. 

The restoration is almost complete. 

It's huge!

Grand Central Station

The inside looked just like it does in all the movies.

We went to the top of the Empire State Building. 

Views from the 86th floor!

We walked through China Town & saw the place that Jay Z has his New Years Eve party every year & we had lunch in Little Italy.

Good lasagna & bread!

Such pretty architecture all over the city. 

Trinity Episcopal was another beautiful church with an amazing story. Across the street from the Twin Towers it didn't have any damage from the events of 9/11.

We went to Wall Street 

Next stop was the 9/11 Memorial

It's very pretty & peaceful.

So many people were there but it was quiet. 

The pools were bigger than I thought.

Next stop was the ferry for the Statue of Liberty. 

More flags at half staff.

This was by the twin towers (that's why it's burned) & after 9/11 moved over by the ferry that goes to the Statue of Liberty.

We went by Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Flatiron District, Battery Park, The NY Public Library, Ellis Island & where all the horses live that pull the carriages. 

I really liked the tour because we were able to see so much & then we could decide what we wanted to see more of. The tour ended up running late & I got ready in record breaking time for our first Broadway show!

I'm not sure if it's good or bad that I got ready so fast. Now there's no doubt that I can do it. 

There was no time for dinner before so we had a snack before the show. 

Yes, a mini can or Pringles & a glass of Merlot in a souvenir cup. Dean had peanut M & M's. There weren't a ton of options!

I loved Wicked! It was really good. Dean liked it too. It made me want to go to more shows.

After the show we found a cute little diner that was a an A. Oh! In case you didn't know, we learned on the tour that all of the restaurants have a great from the Dept of Health. You only want to eat at A's. If it says grade pending our tour guide said to "run like hell"! You don't have to tell us twice.

So we had a late dinner & when I say late I mean like 11:30. The show didn't start until 8:00. This was a seriously late night for us. Dinner was at the Times Square Diner. That was the best chicken Caesar wrap I've ever had!!!

More to come!